When the U.S. Department of State announced the 2022-2023 Top Producing Institutions for Fulbright U.S. Students and Scholars this month, there were 25 colleges and universities that appeared for the first time ever. These newcomers, along with the 12 Community Colleges and 10 Special-Focus Four-Year Institutions that appear on the Top Producers list this year showcase Fulbright’s dedication to inclusive growth and institutional diversity as well as the Program’s impact on communities across the United States.
Among the 18 schools that had never appeared on a Top Producing list before are: Baylor University (Texas); Carnegie Mellon University (Pennsylvania); Chandler-Gilbert Community College (Arizona); Dallas College (Texas); Fayetteville State University (North Carolina); Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science (Minnesota); Metropolitan State University of Denver (Colorado); Murray State University (Kentucky); Pellissippi State Community College (Tennessee); Purdue University Northwest (Indiana); Ringling College of Art and Design (Florida); Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (Utah); Saginaw Valley State University (Michigan); Saint Mary's College of California; Trinidad State College (Colorado); University of Houston-Downtown (Texas); University of Vermont; and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Colleges that were named Top Producers of Fulbright U.S. Scholars for the first time this year were: Bates College (Maine); Lafayette College (Pennsylvania); Bard College at Simon's Rock (Massachusetts); Central Washington University; and Augsburg University (Minnesota); while those who appeared on the U.S. Student list this year for the first time were Towson University (Maryland) and University of South Florida.
We are thrilled to recognize these institutions and share a few highlights of Fulbrighters that demonstrate the range of institutions and the breadth of experiences that the Fulbright Program supports.
Fayetteville State University, a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) in North Carolina, was a Fulbright Top Producer for the first time ever, appearing on the list this year in the Scholar category. Dr. Afua Arhin, Dean of the College of Health, Science, and Technology, received a Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award in Nursing to conduct research in Ghana on infant nutrition in developing countries.
University of South Florida was a Top Producer of Fulbright U.S. Students this year, for the first time, after having previously been a Top Producer of Fulbright Scholars for seven years, most recently with seven faculty members selected as Scholars in 2021-2022. In 2022-2023, USF had a record number of students selected as Fulbright U.S. Students.
The university’s ten Fulbright students come from diverse backgrounds and fields and include Gabriela Cuevas, originally from Puerto Rico, a recent master’s degree recipient from the USF College of Education. A public-school teacher, Gabriela received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistant award to Uruguay, where she will teach at two different academic levels for maximum exposure to the culture and education system of Uruguay. Yoel Gebrai, a Ph.D. student in the USF College of Engineering, is conducting research in Ghana to assess the social, economic, and environmental impacts of Moringa oleifera, a widely cultivated multifunctional crop.
University of Houston Downtown had four Fulbright U.S. Scholars this year. One of them, Dr. Shahnaz Savani, intends to save lives. With a combined teaching/research project on Mental Health and Suicide Prevention at the University of Central Asia in Tajikistan, she is teaching undergraduate courses on "Global Mental Health" as well as "Understanding Suicide in the Global Context". At the same time, she is conducting research that will explore the attitudes and barriers in Tajikistan that prevent Tajiks from seeking mental healthcare.
“I am creating a cadre of students and professionals who will have the scientific knowledge and education about mental health and mental illness and suicide prevention and intervention to move this forward in Badakhshan,” Savani noted, explaining that “in the entire province, where the rate of depression and suicide is extremely high, there is not a single university that offers a single course on mental health and/or suicide prevention and intervention.”
Pellissippi State Community College professor and Chair of Computer Information Technology Tammie Bolling, a 2022 Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Ireland, now serves as the Fulbright Scholar Liaison on campus, where she guides other faculty through the Fulbright application process.
Bolling describes the impact of the Fulbright Program on the Pellissippi State Community College community in Knox County, Tennessee. She notes, “The program provides a platform for scholars to share their experiences with their peers, which leads to increased cross-cultural awareness and understanding. This can also help to foster a more inclusive and diverse campus community, where individuals from different backgrounds can come together to learn from one another and share their unique perspectives.”
Ringling College of Art and Design alum DeAnna Boyer, who graduated in 2022 with a degree in Illustration, is currently in Ireland with a Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Award. Her joint master’s program in Art and Ecology at the Burren College of Art and the National University of Ireland Galway gives her a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of Ireland's wild and unique biodiversity through its thriving culture. Her lively illustrations, plein-air paintings, sketches, and social media posts tell the story of Ireland’s historical and present connection to the environment to a global audience through National Geographic’s online platforms.
“An integral part of Ringling College’s mission is to help prepare our students to be discerning visual thinkers and ethical practitioners,” says Dr. Larry Thompson, president of Ringling College of Art and Design. Thompson says the college supports “the connectivity of illustration, art history, culture, and the environment in her work,” and commented that “this multicultural and global opportunity of study will serve to enhance [DeAnna’s] experiences and future impact on the world.”
Fulbrighters are making an impact on healthcare, conducting agricultural research, teaching English, and sharing about biodiversity in creative ways. And these examples of Fulbrighters represent only a fraction of the myriad of diverse individuals, fields, and institutions which benefit from the Fulbright Program.
Geographic Diversity: 35 states plus the District of Columbia
Community Colleges: 12 Associates Institutions had faculty accepted as Fulbright U.S. Scholars.
They are: Lone Star College System, Bard College at Simon's Rock, Central Maine Community College, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, Dallas College, Hawaii Community College, Jefferson State Community College, Montgomery College, Ocean County College, Pellissippi State Community College, Trinidad State College, Washtenaw Community College.
Special-Focus Institutions: 10 Special-Focus Four-year Institutions educating students in theology, music, medicine, arts, law, and design were Fulbright Top Producing Institutions this year. The School of the Art Institute of Chicago topped the Student list, University of California-San Francisco, a medical school, topped the Scholar list.
Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs): 21 MSIs are on the Fulbright Top Producing Lists this year, including Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions (AANAPISI), a Historically Black College or University (HBCU), Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSI) and an Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institution (ANNH).
Military Institutions: 4 military academies or affiliated institutions are included in the 2022-2023 list of Top Producers, including the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval War College, North Georgia State University, and Texas A&M University; and a total of 25 Fulbright recipients this year identified as military veterans, with additional military-related students coming from ROTC programs or active-duty service.